Preparation to discuss free trade agreement between India and Bangladesh

  • October 9, 2023
  • News

India and Bangladesh are planning to start the discussion on the free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries to promote economic ties. The discussion was initiated at the JWG (Joint Working Group) on trade between India and Bangladesh held in Dhaka.

At the meeting, a host of bilateral issues were brought to attention like removal of port restrictions, groundwork for the commencement of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), mutual recognition of standards and supply of vital commodities to Bangladesh.

The CEPA is a kind of free trade agreement, in which both partners agree to reduce or remove the customs duties on the maximum number of goods that’s been traded between them. They also look into easing norms to promote trade in services and investments.

The JWG meetings that are held on an annual basis, discuss issues related to the development of road and rail infrastructure, regional connectivity through multi-modal transportation and the strengthening of infrastructure in Land Customs Stations and border haats. Besides that, the key issues like economic collaboration, facilitation, expansions, promoting and diversification of trade between both countries.

These meetings play a crucial role in resolving bilateral issues and it becomes easy to bring to the table the trade barriers, ease customs procedures, and improve infrastructure, logistics, and transit facilities for hassle-free cross-border trade.

Currently, the bilateral trade has come down to USD 14.2 billion in 2022-23, from USD 18.13 billion in 2021-22.